18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Turkish-Israeli ties strained again over KKTC airspace violation

Read Comment
17 May 2012, Thursday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
Turkey formally requested an explanation from Israel on Thursday after an announcement by the Turkish military that an Israeli plane had violated Turkish Cypriot airspace on May 14 and been chased away by Turkish fighter jets.

The incident has interrupted a relative calm in Turkish-Israeli relations following a period of high tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a deadly Israeli raid on an international flotilla on May 31, 2010, which resulted in the killings of nine activists, including eight Turks and one Turkish American.

Turkey has expelled the Israeli envoy and cut military ties with Israel to protest Israeli refusal to apologize for the killings. Despite the lingering dispute, tension has subsided recently amid a crisis in Syria. Both Turkey and Israel say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.

In a statement released late on Wednesday, the Turkish military said the Israeli plane violated the airspace of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) over its territorial waters five times between 11:05 a.m. and 12:49 p.m. (0805-0949 GMT) on May 14. It said the type of the plane could not be specified. Two 2X-F16 planes taking off from an air base in İncirlik in southern Turkey following a “scramble alert” flew to the Turkish Cypriot coast and prevented further violation of the KKTC airspace by the Israeli plane, the statement said.

It is not clear why the Israeli plane was flying over the KKTC coasts, but according to speculation in the Turkish media, the plane was spying on Turkey's oil and gas exploration efforts under way in the area.

Incident linked to hydrocarbon drilling rift?

Turkey and Israel are at odds over a 2010 Israeli-Greek Cypriot deal demarcating exclusive economic zones between the countries in order to pave the way for oil and gas exploration. The Greek Cypriot government began drilling for hydrocarbon reserves in September, drawing an angry protest from Turkey which says the riches of the island belong to the Turkish Cypriots as well.

The Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO), with a license from the KKTC government, began an onshore exploratory drilling for oil and gas in Turkish Cyprus in April, a move protested by the Greek Cypriot government.

On Thursday, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün warned of more tensions over hydrocarbon drilling in the eastern Mediterranean after reports that the Greek Cypriot administration is assessing international bids for hydrocarbon drilling in a second round of licensing for offshore drilling launched in February.

Özgürgün said the TPAO has been given the license by the KKTC government to drill in some of the areas subject to the latest round of licensing by the Greek Cypriot administration. “Those who cooperate with the Greek Cypriot administration should know that they would operate in a disputed area,” Özgürgün said.

Turkey, which sent troops to Cyprus in the wake of a coup backed by the Greek military junta to unite Cyprus with Greece in 1974, still maintains some 35,000 troops in the Turkish-run north of the island. UN-backed efforts to reunite the Turkish and Greek zones of the island have failed repeatedly.

one can sompare the sick and ugly comments of people like sherman and björn and compare them with intelligent and mature answers from the other side. the difference speaks for itself. about the topic: there is no KKTC airspace. the whole island and its airspace belongs to the only government whic...
I have a feeling that this will be the 2nd major Jewish gas incident!!! Apparently they have not had enough !!!
Bjorn - Be
What Turkey means when it says that "the island's riches belong to the Turkish Cypriots as well" is that they belong to Ankara.LOL!
Lawrence of Arabia
GeneralSherman. A new lowest level comment record for you. I hardly thought that was possible but you managed. To all foreigners I would really like to say that I find GeneralShermans comments as discaceful, as you probably feel when a racist or a facist from your country appears. I am very sorry ab...
I am sorry
DeGeneral Sherman Obviously you robbing brains from makakas, then misuse it. Stop harassing animals and readers.
An appropriate statement: Run, Jew, run!
Israeli is such pathetic excuse for a country. An entire nation built on robbing money from the US taxpayer and robbing land from the Palestians. What's with the subhuman Jews going on about the Israeli military? Everybody knows that all they can do is harass Palestinian children. They got smack...
Al Qaeda is a sunni terrostic organization, they are the suicide bombers in Syria, they are not shiite. Several reports state they are enterring in Syria from Turkey. How Iran can be a criminal country? Iran is supporting Assad, why not, since Assad is backed by most of the Syrians. The so called fr...
Turkey should not make a row about this incident, Turkey should just state: "next time we will add that plane to the marine life of East-Mediterranean".
Cyprus should protest against Turkey at the UN for it-s air space invasion by Turkey that must be condemened. Turkey is violating international law. Israel has the right to use Cyprus space in accordance to an agreement they have with Cypriot Internationaly recognized Government.
Wait till Israeli jets are stationed in Paphos then you will have violations every . The Israeli's will blast you out of the sky !!
Why didn't the Israeli pilot shoot down the Turkish planes. Then Turkey could demand another appology
Juma Mpunda
There is no such thing as KKTC airspace because KKTC does not exist.
There was no violation of Cypriot airspace since the Israeli plane got the approval of Cypriot authorities to enter it's airspace.
Why doesn't Turkish Cyprus lodge a complaint with the UN ? Because no-one but Turkey recognizes it ? What kind of threat does one jewish plane represent ? Erdogan is increasingly exhibiting a psychosis
Since the turkish jets chased the israeli one, they should be able to identify at list the type of the unknown plane (not to mention the colors, equipment etc).What game is hidden behind this announcement, besides the obvious deterioration of turkish-israeli relation ?
Chris Athens
Turkey should end its quarrel with Iran and Syria and concentrate on more important matters. Off shore drilling should be pursued and our defences built up to deal with any threat.
Turkey acts as though Turkish Cypress (a spit of land nobody but Turkey acknowledges) is Turkish territory. Nowhere does it mention that the government of "Turkish Cypress" asked Turkey to intervene. As to that intervention, Turkey states that it chased away the intruding Israeli plane, but appear...
It seems funny that AKP which has pursued policies that violate KKTC sovereignty are now condemning the violations to KKTC sovereignty. In 2004 AKP forced the Annan Plan on KKTC. Had it been successful, an independent sovereign KKTC would not exist today. It would have been the first time in history...
The AKP is the biggest violator of KKTC sovereignty. It accepted "Annan Plan" in the past. Today it advocates a so-called "federal united cyprus". Both of these violate the sovereignty and independence of KKTC, also threatening the security and self-governance of Turkish Cypriot people in the proce...
In 2004 AKP accepted a UN blueprint that openly violated the sovereignty of KKTC. The AKP still has not acknowledged or apologized to the Turkish people for this fatal error. For example, AKP still has not clearly announced that any aggreement has to be based on the independence and self-governance ...
Was it not AKP which accepted "AnnanPlan" that would have destroyed the independent Turkish Cypriot Republic (KKTC) and reduced Turkish Cypriot people to a second-class status under Greek Cypriot rule? How can they complain that Israel does not respect the sovereignty of Turkish Republic of Northern...
Since when does Turkey 'own' Northern Cyprus? You where told to get out of there many times in the past but Turkey still refuses to end the occupation under international law is a illegal one. Also you do not own the oil there anyway
I really do not understand this silly game of entering other countries air space. Greeks and Turks do it all the time against each other and now Israel it seems. What is the point?
Does anyone recognise a country called Northern Cyprus ? If so, how many ? This sounds like much ado about nothing. A chance for Turkey to be a bully over a plane straying a tad off course with no hostile intent or purpose. Dumb bullying.
The whole KKTC territory is a disputed, unrecognized and terrorist area. Turkey attacked and occupies the norther half of a sovereign country in 1974 called Republic of Cyprus. Which part of this last sentence is ambiguous?
Uncle Billy
In the Turkish army manual that report is called the 'Let-us-distract-the-Turkish-public-from the-killings-in-Uludere' maneuver.
Israel committed NO violation; the Republic of Cyprus gave it full permission to fly over its territory--even the part that was invaded and is still occupied by Turkish troops and hundreds of thousands of illegal Turkish settlers.
some question must be asked: 1. who's territory was violated ? surely not turkey's, so, why turkey make such noise? 2. in addition, the Israelis got permission from the world-known cypress government. 3. turkey must ask why the Marmara violated Israel(world backed) blockade and why Turkish battlesh...
They have sattelites for spying.
The fascist, theocratic state of Israel naturally feels emboldened in everything criminal they do BECAUSE the have the total backing of the AIPAC and Corporate purchased politicians of America. They simply no know bounds, as they're obviously superior to the rest of us -- just ask THEM. And NO, Nort...
There is no such thing as "Turkish Cypriot air space" so get your facts right and abide by UN Resolutions 353 (1974) and 541 (1983).
Does Turkey want's a modern version of Lepanto or Navarino battles? Maybe that news item is intended to justify the purchase of more F35 fighter planes?
So what! Turkey has been violating it for decades.
Israhell is a nazi country They did the same thing to the Palestinians (In Nakba) As Hitler (Zionist Jew)- (Plus Rotschild Rockfeler and Bush) did to the Jews
Hollocaost Surviver
Like in the past, turkey will only send out Polat Alemdar to punish bad guys. In future it will continue this way. Israel is to powerful.
Bhuz Amed
There is not Turksh Cyprus, there is only Cyprus. And our aircraft had permission to fly in Cypriot airspace by the government. And no Turkish Air Force aircraft 'chased away' an IAF jet, probably the other way around. We don't run from inferior forces.
hahahahahahahah.....spying with a plane.....hahahahahahah..)) for oil and gaz exploitations...hahahahahhah....do you ppl believe yourself?.)
Just shoot it down next time, make it an example for all that dare do such stupid acts afterwards. We stand with Turkiye and you have our support.
The Turkish jets were reported as flying illegally over Cypriot airspace by the Cyprus government, which had authorized the Israelis to fly over Keryneia.
Click here to read all user comments
DIPLOMACY  Other Titles
KKTC pushing for Cyprus deal before end of this year
MEPs question EU Commission over EU funds to Turkey
Greece rejects extradition of leading DHKP/C member
Pro-gov't dailies report conflicting news on leaked audio on Syria
US warns against damage to ties over recurring media claims
KRG's Barzani visits Ankara for talks with Erdoğan
Villagers file suit against ministry over stray bullets from Syria
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
Turkey says deeply concerned over events in Ukraine
Chinese deputy foreign minister in Ankara for inter-delegation meeting
‘Turkey will not remain silent over 'genocide resolution' if adopted’
Russia welcomes Turkey's assurances on observance of Montreux terms
Poland: NATO should send troops to east Europe, ignore Russia's objections
US looks to Turkey to uphold checks and balances
Dubai may be a hub for Turkey and Iran's illicit transactions
US House Speaker meets senior Turkish officials in Ankara
EU Minister Çavuşoğlu says Füle's comments on Turkey ‘balanced'
US Ambassador Ricciardone has talks with AK Party officials
Turkey's honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy
Iran to build cultural center in the heart of İstanbul
Loğoğlu: No Turkish institution in US works against Turkey
Erdoğan will further polarize Turkey as presidential election approaches
European Union concerned about rule of law in Turkey
Turkey seeks to restore dialogue with Serbia with FM's visit
Turkish Rights groups slam Egypt over execution ruling